What is Passbook? The short answer is that it’s a place for large retailers and brands to connect with consumers.
The list of the brands with a Passbook presence is impressive enough to suggest that Apple’s wallet app isn’t too far from being what it set out to become: an iPhone repository for coupons, travel and event tickets, gift and loyalty cards, and vouchers. The stuff that otherwise clutters wallets and purses, and powers commerce.
- In the U.S. market, over 35 large retailers and restaurant chains — from Walgreens to Target to Dunkin’ Doughnuts to Starbucks — as well as event companies, global airlines, and sports leagues are already using it as a channel for acquiring and retaining customers.
- Apple’s Passbook is already the fourth-most popular mobile commerce app among U.S. consumers. One-fifth of iPhone owners use it. It’s Apple’s fast-maturing attempt at a virtual wallet.
- Apple has over 500 million credit cards on file. Amazon, its closest competitor in this regard, has less than half that amount of consumer accounts on file. Apple may one day leverage these credit cards to turn Passbook into a real transactions platform to boot, a la PayPal. Are brands ready?
- What brands and retailers are present?
- How effective have Passbook campaigns been in driving consumer activity and raising brand awareness?
- How does it work?
Here’s our ecosystem graphic:
The report includes over a half-dozen charts and datasets examining the intricacies of the Passbook ecosystem. Subscribers also receive full access to the BI Intelligence library of over 100 in-depth reports on mobile commerce, mobile payments, and the mobile industry, and hundreds of datasets you can put to use.
In our report on Passbook, we also look at some misconceptions and underrated opportunities:
- The Passbook ecosystem is a valuable back-door for developers who would like to market their apps more aggressively, grab more visibility and achieve higher download numbers.
- Passbook passes can be generated by websites and/or with the help of third-party vendors, they don’t necessarily need to be created by custom Passbook-integrated apps.
- Passbook is well-positioned to seize on recent retailer and consumer enthusiasm for location-based services, mobile coupons, and mobile-powered loyalty programs.
- We include a handful of mini-case studies, and examine data that reveals how successful certain brands and retailers have been with Passbook.
We also discuss Passbook’s relationship with the burgeoning and competitive mobile payments space, and the uncertainty surrounding its future as a payments platform.
Will Apple add a payment-processing capability, so that users can make “walletless” credit card payments with Passbook? Will it be joined with fingerprint-reading technology, the rumoured authentication feature to be included in iPhone 5S?
It also includes an examination of the top barriers to widespread Passbook adoption: namely, the chicken-and-egg problem that ties relatively low app publisher adoption to a lack of wider consumer awareness.